Lately my garage door has been stopping when it gets about 2ft from the closed position and then returns to the original position. Nothing is blocking the sensors and the tracks don't seem to have any bends or anything that would prevent the door from moving freely. I also tried checking the cycle with the door disengaged (by pulling the emergency handle and letting the door sit in the closed position not connected to the chain), and the chain moves, stops, and returns at the same location as it does when the door is attached.

So, I assume it's something in the actual opening unit. I haven't tried to adjust the downward force yet, but I'll give that a try when I get home tonight. Don't think that's the issue though.

Has anyone had this issue before?

  • Have you ever serviced the opener (lubed it, checked for loose damaged wiring, etc.)? – Tester101 Dec 9 '15 at 22:31
  • First- what else have you tried to find the problem? Everyone suggested the sensor, which is the simplest thing to check and I assume this is the first thing you inspected. Second- what brand and model number of garage door opener is it? What is the "original position"? All the way opened? Closed? – paulmz Dec 10 '15 at 21:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have had this type behavior show up on one of my garage door openers. The problem has actually developed progressively over time. At this point I actually need to keep holding the close button down to get the door to close. (Opening works like normal). I did adjust the down pressure two different times and it helped for a short time but the closure problem continues to persist. Strangest thing is that the door will close normally on the coldest nights when the temperature has dipped down to less than 38F or so.

My conclusion is to replace the garage opener with a new one.

  • Exactly! When my issue started I would hold down the button on the wall and it would close. That seemed to work for a bit. Then it wouldn't work again. Last month the door wouldn't close again, and holding down the wall button didn't work, so I pulled the emergency cord, re-attached it, and for some reason it worked (probably a fluke). Then a couple days ago, it wouldn't work again. When I got home I tried to turn up the closing force and it is working again. Probably temporary based on your comments, but hopefully it will last a while longer so I can put off buying a new one. Thanks!! – Adam S. Dec 10 '15 at 21:34
  • I don't understand how this is the correct answer. Can you please explain why the solution is to go from forcing the opener to close by incorrectly using the button and then going directly to replacement of the entire unit? Doesn't anyone attempt to fix anything anymore? – paulmz Dec 10 '15 at 21:37
  • @paulmz - I fix almost everything that fails. In the case of this garage door opener I have tested if it was the sensors and determined that the controller exhibits an entirely different behavior for blocked or miss aimed sensors this tells me that it is not the sensors causing the fail. The down pressure adjustment has been set to the extreme of the rotation of the potentiometer but at the same time when I manually raise and lower the door I cannot find any drag of the door rollers in the track that I would say is anywhere near excessive. For an opener that has been installed (continued) – Michael Karas Dec 11 '15 at 1:20
  • (continued from above) since 1987 and in continuous use ever since I suspect that the failure is some issue on the internal control board. I suggest that it is not likely that I would easily find the schematic for the board and even with it not likely that it can be easily repaired. For the time spent to tear down the unit and attempt a repair I will be able to install a new one with less effort ... especially considering that a similar new unit is not excessively expensive. – Michael Karas Dec 11 '15 at 1:26

There are several possibilities. First, rule out the obvious stuff:

Watch the electric eye sensors as the door opens and closes - confirm that the sensors remain aligned (the led lights on both remain lit during garage door travel, typically yellow on one, and green on the other); if there is a loose wire or sensor, or if there is excessive vibration or misalignment, the beam may be temporarily broken, causing the door to return to go back up

Confirm that the rails are aligned and straight, the bolts holding them are tight, the wheels on the door sections are tracking smoothly along the rails when the door opens and closes, and the rails are adequately greased to prevent excessive friction or binding during travel; also, ensure there are no other potential obstructions in the way of the garage door mechanism

If you have springs along the upper rail sections (i.e., not a torsion spring set-up), ensure that the tension in the garage door springs on either side is even, and there is similar sag side to side when the door is open; as you observe from the inside, the door should lower evenly (side to side, and in a smooth motion) if the springs are evenly worn, and the spring tension is similar side to side

Confirm that the chain/cable tension on the garage door opener itself is set correctly (there is a certain amount of "sag" expected - check your owners manual for tolerances and how to adjust)

Finally, ensure the door return force limit isn't set too low (without standing directly under the door or otherwise causing injury, of course)

If all of the above checks out (sensors, rails, wheels, springs, all OK, door goes up and door evenly and smoothly, etc.), increasing the downward force slightly may resolve the issue.

In my experience, problems are often sensor-related or random obstructions (like the corner of a box or trash can getting the way of a garage door bracket). If the springs are worn or the tension is too low on one side, the door may close unevenly, causing the wheels to bind up in the rails or strike an obstruction in the rails (like a joint or bolt head).

I had this happen to one of my garage doors. The sensor "eyes" are attached to the rails. Over time the bottom of one of the rails worked itself a little loose and I found that the vibration of the door coming down would rattle the rail and disturb or misalign the sensor to the point that it would read an interruption and the door would reopen. I found other rails could be tightened as well. Tightened everything up, realigned the sensors and no problems since.

This is a symptom of the electric eye-beam not lining up. Before adjusting the torsion spring first test if the door already has enough force to close properly. Stand out side next to the open door, activate with the clicker to close, as the door travels past your waist grab the bottom and try to halt its' movement. If you are able to stop the door from closing with minimal effort the torsion spring should be adjusted. The next part to check is the limit switches, specifically the close limit switch. This should be on the chain rail between the motor and the door arm. It looks like a micro paddle switch. You'll need a DVM to test if it working properly. Last part to check with the door open push and hold the wall switch to see if the door will close completely. If it does close completely the sensor is faulty and needs to be replaced.

I had this same problem and it turned out to have nothing to do with the sensor. The nylon gear in the housing had stripped out and made the worm gear misaligned from the limit stops. It was easy to change and actually quieted the opener a bit. Ironically, this high-wear item that fits most garage door openers made in the last 30-years was not in-stock in any local store so I had to order it from Amazon.

IMG:

  • Thanks for the comment! I turned up the closing force and the door is working now, but if it happens again I will definitely check this gear out. – Adam S. Dec 10 '15 at 21:37
  • @AdamS. - Even though this worked for now, it's unlikely that the limit stop adjusted itself to not close all of the way. It wouldn't hurt to just pop to cover off of the motor housing and see if there is any "white dust" inside the casing. I would suggest checking when you can, because you know the next time it breaks will be on the coldest day of the winter. – paulmz Dec 10 '15 at 21:43

I posted an answer on a similar question

Basically I determined that the wiring from the sensor to the circuit board was loose. I unscrewed and reconnected it.

Second I realized that the chain was vibrating a lot while opening/closing, which is what caused the loose wiring to flicker. I tightened the chain a bit (not too tight - it is supposed to sag a little bit) and straightened it since it was very slightly twisted.

Now the garage door closes and opens without any vibration, and the wiring is secure, so it has stopped reversing.

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